AGFO contradicts pro-Duterte group Citizen National Guard’s claim some members are retired generals

The Association of Generals and Flag Officers (AGFO) refutes the claim of a group claiming to be protectors of President Rodrigo Duterte against the “yellowtards” and other “enemies of the state” that some of their members are retired generals.

According to an ABS-CBN News report, AGFO denies getting reports that some of their members have joined the pro-Duterte group Citizen National Guard (CNG).
AGFO President Ret. Maj. Gen. Edgardo Batenga said he does not know the supposed retired military officials who appeared during the launching of CNG on October 3.

“Well, as president and chairman of AGFO, I have no knowledge that generals are forming a group for whatever purpose. We are supposed to be a non-partisan association,” Batenga told ABS-CBN News.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre and Public Attorneys’ Office chief Persida Acosta were present during the press conference for the launching of CNG, whose purpose was to protect the Philippine government from enemies including drug cartels, CPP-NPA, ISIS-inspired terrorism, seditious political opposition tagged as “Yellowtards,” and foreign intelligence agencies calling for regime change with international support.

Aguirre remarked that he also formed a group similar to the CNG to help fight the “enemies of the state.”

He added, “This is extra official. In our own little way, we want to help them.”
Acosta said the group can serve the voice of the people.

“Kayo po ang magiging tinig na maririnig ng ating mga kababayan at gayundin kung nakikinig po yung ilang grupo na gustong wasakin ang ating bayan, sana po naman makonsensya sila,” Acosta said.

Also in the press conference was CNG’s allied group Save the Nation.

Both groups claimed that their members include retired soldiers, doctors, teachers, engineers, farmers, other professionals, religious organization members, and students.

CNG and Save the Nation vow to fight the threats against the President and the government.

“[T]he Citizen National Guard and the Save the Nation movement reject any notion of foreign instigated and assisted regime change, contrary to the principle of sovereignty and interest of the Filipino people,” they said in a statement.

“[T]he conspiracy of evil forces enumerated… poses as grave and imminent danger to the lives of our population, destroying the future of coming generations, threatening the integrity and the very existence of our nation as an independent republic,” they added.

A certain Retired Marine Col. Herbert Escalera, who represented CNG’s retired military members, said that his fellow retirees are still willing to fight for the country and its welfare. He also hit former soldiers and now Senator Antonio Trillanes IV for “poisoning the minds of the people.”

“Ako po ay retired sa serbisyo pero ang buhay ko hindi pa retired. Tayong mga mamamayang Pilipino, magkaisa po tayo, huwag na tayo magpalinlang. Kami mga military matagal na gaming ginagamit, masama sa loob namin,” Escalera said.

“Saan tayo pupulutin kung hindi tayo magkakaisa? Si Trillanes, wala yan, nilalason lang utak ng mamamayang Pilipino,” he continued.

Both groups revealed that they have around 25,000 members so far and more members are signing up.

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) hit Aguirre and Acosta for supporting CNG.

“Is the DOJ endorsing the formation of a vigilante group of retired and reserve officers under the Citizens National Guard? What is their basis in defining who ‘enemies of the state are’? It seems that all critics of the regime are branded enemies of the state,” BAYAN Secretary General Renato Reyes told Philippine Star via text message.

PAO is under the DOJ.

“This is a dangerous move, as it appears to be an endorsement of armed violence, or a threat thereof, aimed at Duterte critics. That this group has the backing of the DOJ Secretary aims to give it a cloak of legality, no matter how vague the composition and objectives of the group are,” Reyes said.

“Given the terrible state of human rights in the Philippines, a government-backed vigilante or para-military group seeking to counter Duterte critics is indeed a cause for concern,” he further said.

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